Missouri rail worker says he was fired for being black

Steve Gonzalez Jan. 9, 2006, 5:15am

A Missouri man filed a civil rights lawsuit against his former employer Union Pacific Railroad claiming he was fired for being an African-American.

Kenneth Battles is asking for compensatory and punitive damages, as well as seeking to be reinstated without lapse in seniority in a suit filed Jan. 5 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois.

"Union Pacific's conduct was willful, wanton and malicious, or in a reckless disregard of Battles' federally protected rights," the complaint states.

Battles, who worked at a railyard in Dupo, also alleges that Union Pacific violated the Missouri Human Rights Act and claims he filed a charge of discrimination with the Missouri Commission on Human Rights shortly after being fired.

According to the complaint, on Oct. 20, 2005 the commission issued a notice of right to sue in connection with the charge prompting this suit within 90 days of the notice.

Battles claims he has lost wages and benefits of full employment and suffered humiliation, inconvenience, and loss of the enjoyment of life.

He is represented by D. Eric Sowers of Sowers & Wolf in St. Louis.

The case has been assigned to District Judge William Stiehl.


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Organizations in this Story

Union Pacific
1400 Douglas St
Omaha, NE 68179

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